Even though almost 90% of people in the US receive dental health insurance as part of their overall health insurance coverage, the majority of them still face difficulties in meeting the needs of their oral care. Many of them remain dependent on Medicaid, or they pay out of their own savings, while some simply forgo looking after their teeth altogether, because it’s too expensive.
If you are searching the market for affordable dental insurance, then you need to arm yourself with the knowledge of what you get from each type of insurance deal in order to make the best possible choice.
There are four common types of dental insurance available.
Discount Dental Plans
Technically speaking, this isn’t true dental insurance, because a dental plan works by encouraging people to pay a yearly membership fee to the dental plan provider, which is usually the company they work for. By paying this membership fee, enrollees in a dental plan are entitled to a discount on dental services from any of the dentists on that company’s roster. The patient pays the discounted charges directly to the dentist themselves, with the costs being based on the plan’s suggested pricing list.
Indemnity or Traditional Dental Insurance Coverage
This is often known as traditional fee-for-service coverage, with the health insurance provider covering certain kids of dental services, such as fluoride applications, preventative oral care, yearly check ups and so on. If more complex and expensive dental services are needed, then the coverage usually ranges from between 50% to 80% of the treatment’s cost, with the patient being liable to pay for the difference. Usually, there is a limitation in place on the amount of coverage available. However, on the plus side, patients are allowed to choose their own dentist.
This is an option that is becoming more and more popular in recent years, as anyone who pays a monthly premium to a DHMO (Dental Health Management Organization), is eligible to visit any dentist under them in order to receive treatment for any dental care they require.
The majority of common dental treatments, such as annual check ups, cleaning and x-rays are provided free of charge to patients, with more expensive treatments like bridges, implants and root canals requiring patients to pay a percentage of the costs themselves. DHMO’s appear to many people to be a lot more beneficial than traditional dental insurance coverage, but the downside is you can only use dentists that are recommended by them.
Dental Preferred Provider Organizations
These are, in many ways similar to DMHO’s in that patients can only receive services from a selected panel of dentists. However, enrollees are given the freedom to decide on their own dental health provider, though choosing one who is not on the recommended list could result in a higher deductible and co-payment.
Before deciding on what dental health insurance, there are three things to bear in mind. It’s important to find out exactly what coverage is included in the policy, how much the premiums are and whether it’s possible or not to use your own dentist.